Finding a Competitive Edge For Your Music School
If you’re looking for a competitive edge, it will most likely not be found in the private lesson. Your competitive edge will be found in the experiences you provide, in the culture you create, and/or the opportunities you give your students.
Content marketing is a great way to position your music studio as a business that is generous and helpful. A podcast is a great way to express this generosity. It’s a great way to provide unique experiences and opportunities for your students. It’s also a great way to gain a significant edge over your competitors.
What is content marketing?
According to marketo.com, content marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your audience.
Content marketing isn’t about selling. It’s about adding value to your ideal customer’s life. A blog by a music school that deals with the challenges of parenting in the 21st century would be a great example of content marketing. A video about fun family activities in your city-great example of content marketing.
What Content Marketing for Music Studios Looks Like
Good content marketing is when you understand your ideal customer and share with them information that is going to be of value to them. If a music school were to engage in content marketing, they’re not going to be creating content about music. They’re not going to be creating content about good practice habits or how to get the perfect tone for your guitar, because these are not things that are of interest to your customer. They’re maybe of interest to the kids in your music studio, but they’re not of interest to your customer avatar, a 30 to 45-year-old mom. But a piece of content that talks about Netflix show that the whole family can enjoy together, that is going to be of direct interest to your ideal customer, customer avatar.
How To Turn Your Music Studio Into a Resource for Information
A recent blog in HubSpot has this to say about content marketing, “47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with the sales rep and the majority of them expect brands to create content to gain their interest.” Content creation is an expectation. Adding value for free to customers is an expectation. We expect that we can go to Google and look something up that’s going to help solve our problem for free. We don’t expect to pay for that. We know it’s going to be out there. The answer to our questions will be out there on Google.
Who provides that content? Brands do. If you’re not going deep into content marketing, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. I know a lot of music schools aren’t so focused on content marketing, but if you’re looking to get an upper hand in your market, an upper hand on your competition, if you’re looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the competition, content marketing is a great way to do it.
How to Create a Podcast Parents Would Listen To
In the past, on my show, I’ve talked about the value of creating a podcast for your music school. I’m thrilled to see that some of these schools are beginning to do podcasts. The key to creating a podcast that parents are going to want to listen to is that your podcast shouldn’t be all about your music school. Now, I know the thought of even doing a podcast can be very intimidating. It’s going to be very time-consuming. Perhaps you don’t even know where to begin with a podcast. You already feel like you’re burning the candle on both ends. How could you add on a new kind of marketing strategy into your arsenal?
“47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with the sales rep and the majority of them expect brands to create content to gain their interest.” ~Hubspot
Podcasts Are Easy to Make
The good news about podcasts is they’re very easy to do. Perhaps you start off by saying, I’m going to do three to four months of podcasting and I’m going to do just one show a month. You can make it very simple. You could even record it on your iPhone, or you could just do it over Zoom and take the audio from your Zoom calls and make that the podcast. There are services out there that can edit your podcast for you, that can help you with your theme music or your podcast intro. Maybe you have a podcast outro. There’s a lot of services out there.
No reason why you couldn’t spend an hour to an hour and a half a month on creating a monthly episode. What you’ll find with podcasting is the more that you do it, the easier it is to churn out content. I do a podcast once a week. I can knock the whole thing out in maybe an hour and that includes show notes as well. But I know what you’re thinking: why would anyone listen to your podcast? They’ll listen to your podcast if the podcast speaks directly to their current interest, which means you have to understand your customer, what they’re interested in, what will capture their attention.
Podcast Show Format For Your Music Studio
I want to share with you just what I think is a very simple music school podcast format that I think could be a big success in your market. A podcast format that would make your competition sweat, that would position you as a leader in your market, that would position you as a business that’s all about celebrating your community, that features characters and heroes in your community.
What to Name Your Podcast
Let’s first look at the potential name of your podcast. You could certainly call it your music studio name, but that now gives the impression that your podcast is all about your music studio. If you put your city’s name in it, and it’s under the umbrella of your music studio, that might be more effective. For example, let’s say your podcast is called All about Cleveland by Dave’s Music School, or sponsored by, or brought to you by, the name of your music studio. People that aren’t in your music studio aren’t interested in your business but they’re interested in maybe hearing about stories about your city, stories about the different characters that they come into contact or know about in your city. The fireman, the policeman, the owner of that funky clothing boutique, a radio station personality, the local weatherman, professional athletes in your city. These are people of interest to your ideal customer.
If you simply have a podcast, people will talk to you who normally wouldn’t talk to you, especially if your podcast is called Stories of Detroit brought to you by the Detroit Music School. If your podcast is called the Detroit Music School podcast, it doesn’t have as broad of an appeal. The objective of the podcast is to pull people in because your content, your subject matter, is of interest. You’re going to provide insight. You’re going to provide value. You’re going to share stories that are going to appeal to a broad audience. But through the podcasts, they’re learning about your music studio. The podcast is sponsored by your music studio.
Kids Say the Darndest Things
The first part of the podcast could be a question that’s posed to your students and the students answer the question on their smartphone voice recorded and email it in. Or you provide them a link on Dropbox where they can upload their answer. For example, you may ask the question: “If you can meet one historical figure, who would it be and why?” followed with, “When you answer the question, start your answer with, “Hi I’m (your name) (age). if I could meet any famous person in history I’d like to meet,” and then answer the question.”Give them 15 to 30 seconds to answer the question so you can feature 4-6 of your students per episode.
You now have two minutes’ worth of kids answering that question. Everyone’s going to find it to be cute. Everyone loves to hear our kids think. But these kids are all, they’re your students. You’re not marketing your music school at that point, but you’re featuring your students on it and you’re going to, of course, say these are the students from the Detroit Music Academy, or I think I called them the Detroit Music Studio earlier. Do you see what I’m going for?
Interview a Local Personality
Then, the second part of the podcast is a Zoom interview, the audio of the interview of you interviewing a local personality. If you start emailing people in your community, you’re the producer of San Francisco Stories and you would like to interview them on your show, at this moment in history, by simply saying that, people are going to give you an opportunity to pitch your show to them because having a podcast still has a little bit of mystique around it.
More and more businesses are launching podcasts and I think podcasts eventually, it will just be assumed that most reputable organizations have a podcast. Most likely your competition doesn’t have a podcast. So a podcast is going to allow you to celebrate your community in a way that nobody else is and certainly not your competition.
There Interesting Stories All Around You
Let’s say you reach out to the host of the morning or the local morning show, Heidi Gloss. She does the morning show. Everybody knows Heidi. She’d gladly be a guest on your podcast. It’s just a 20-minute Zoom call. All she has to do is click the link and talk to you for 20 minutes. It’s not your whole podcast. Two, maybe three minutes of kids answering a question at the beginning and then an interview of a local personality. The podcast is brought to you by your music studio name.
When you interview the kids at the beginning, you mentioned that these are students from your music studio. I am sure that in your music studio, there are parents with interesting stories, interesting careers, that people in your community, the community at large, would be interested in. What if you interviewed business owners who also were trying to appeal to the same customer base that you are? For example, the owner of a dance studio.
Reach Out To Businesses With a Similar Audience
Well, here’s, what’s going to happen. You’re going to interview the owner of the dance studio. They’re going to be so honored that they were asked to be on your podcast. They’re going to market it out to their email list. Or you encourage them. Say, “I’m sure your customers would be interested in hearing this interview.” So they now are emailing out to their email list about your podcast which is hosted by your business. Then, the kids that you have on the podcast, that are sending in these 30-second audio clips, they’re going to promote it for you. You give them a little bit of encouragement, “Hey, I’m sure your friends and family would love to hear little Johnny on his first podcast appearance. Share this link on social media.”
It’s Not About You and Your Music Studio
The key to creating a podcast that’s hosted by your music studio is not to make the podcast about your music studio, not to make it about the teachers in your music studio, about your lessons. It’s to have a broader message. A message that’s going to appeal to your ideal client, your customer avatar. The moment you enter the market with a podcast that’s celebrating your community, you’ve now established yourself as the first, the first of all the music studios to do something like this. Your competition will not be happy about this.
They’re going to contemplate, “Hey, maybe we should do a podcast.” But if they do, they’re going to be the second. They’re going to be an imitator. You’ll get into the mind of your market first as being sort of the leading voice when it comes to podcasting. This would also be a great way to get local press especially if you were to interview local writers and personalities from local TV shows. They’ll be so honored and so touched that you reached out to them. There’s a good chance that they might want to highlight you in one of their articles or on-air pieces.
The Final Frontier of Marketing
A quote from Seth Godin. Seth Godin says, “content marketing is the only marketing that’s left.” Not that other forms of marketing don’t work, but content marketing is a wide-open field. It’s all about giving, providing value, providing educational material, inspirational material. Material that’s not about selling, but about providing value. Content marketing allows people in your market to discover you. No one likes to be sold to so content takes the selling element completely out of the equation. But through the process of people engaging in your content, they’ll eventually figure out what it is that you’re selling.
Customers Expect Content
It doesn’t take much. When you say “Today’s podcast is brought to you by the Sacramento Music Academy,” like HubSpot said, the consumers expect brands to create content to gain their interest. The more interest you can generate, the more open people will be when they finally get your Facebook ad that says, “Sign up for lessons.” If your Facebook ad is the first time people are hearing about you, you’re not likely to get the sale; but if people have been hearing about you for a while, and then they get that Facebook ad, they’re going to be much more open to hearing and receiving your sales message.